Sometimes sports rivalries are more about the fans than they are the players. Fans often freak out when they see a member of their favorite team fraternizing with a member of the opposition.
However, there are some rivalries which you can imagine the disdain for one another carrying over off the field for the players.
In my opinion, I would chalk the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals rivalry into that group. The past three seasons these two teams haven’t just hit the field with the intent of winning, but there was an underlying hatred evident when Vontaze Burfict injured several players, and when David DeCastro went after Burfict on a running play last year, knocking Burfict out.
One aspect of the rivalry is often between Antonio Brown and Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones. Although the two go head-to-head at times, the real rivalry is between Brown and Dre Kirkpatrick. The two have had several fierce battles on the field, but it was especially refreshing when Brown took the time to make an appearance at Kirkpatrick’s youth football camp recently.
There is a lot of talent on the field there between Brown, Kirkpatrick and A.J. Green.
As for me, I hope these type of actions turn the Steelers vs. Bengals games in 2017 into a more normal football game, at least for the AFC North’s standards, and less of a Mixed Martial Arts style contest.